GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Energy Sustainability in the Gulf States
Paper Proposal Text :
For many decades, the Middle East has been known as among the world’s most energy-rich region, owing to vast oil and natural gas reserves. Within the Middle East, the eight Gulf economies are home to nearly half of global oil reserves, making the sub-region the world’s most important supplier of crude oil. In addition to oil, the Gulf region also holds more than a third of world natural gas reserves, rendering the region a potential regional and international supply centre for natural gas as well. The Gulf states’ rapidly rising domestic energy demand, however, draws increasingly on the region’s energy resource production for domestic use. In the absence of a change in the region’s energy policies, domestic consumption dynamics may compromise the Gulf’s role as a global oil supplier in the coming decades, and may turn the region – along with the wider Middle East – into a major centre for demand, rather than exports, for natural gas. Rising domestic consumption, and the continued reliance on domestically produced, but depletable oil and gas resources also throw up questions about the sustainability of these current demand patterns, and their long-term impact on the region’s hydrocarbon reserves themselves. This paper aims to provide an overview over the issues at stake, and to formulate some tentative long-term challenges for the region.